Kristy Arnett interviewed Canadian poker pro Jason Lavallee in 2013 for PokerNews (click here for full audio interview.) In the audio interview, he talked about a queen-high call-down he made in a European Poker Tour event. His opponent’s bet-timing played a role in his decision. Basically, he thought that an immediate bet meant that her range was polarized, because most players don’t know what to do with the medium-strength part of their range.
Here is the hand history, followed by the relevant part of that audio interview.
Jason Lavallee raises w/ Q♣ J♣.
Flop 8♥ 9♦ 3♠.
Lavallee c-bets. Sabini calls.
Turn is 3♥.
Lavallee checks. Sabini quickly bets. Lavallee calls.
Lavallee checks. Sabini immediately reaches for chips and bets 1/3 of pot.
Lavallee calls and wins. Sabini was bluffing with the Q♦ T♦.
Here is the relevant part of the interview, regarding the hand:
“I ended up checking and she made a pretty small bet but really fast, which. Against non-experienced players, usually, one of their biggest leaks is not value-betting light enough and just in general playing too polarized, where they’ll bet their really big hands or their absolute air, but they won’t really know what to do with the middle part of their range. Like if she shows up on the turn with like 87 suited, which is middle pair, I wouldn’t expect her to bet really quickly; she would consider what to do with that hand.
“And usually in tournaments, they’ll opt even more for pot-control lines, which means not betting and being put to a tough decision and instead try to steer the hand toward show-down. So when she bet really quickly it was an interesting decision because, I didn’t think she had total air, but I wasn’t sure what she would end up doing with like a 9, an 8, or like pocket 6s type of hand, and I didn’t think that she would bet it that quickly.
“So, I thought about raising, but I didn’t see what raising would accomplish, because the stuff that I actually end up beating, stuff like 6-7 suited, JT, and QT, I already beat with my specific hand. So I decided to call instead, which is very nonconventional; it’s one of those things that you, in the moment, you feel or you don’t. There’s something to be said about instinctual play; it’s definitely not a standard line that I take all the time.
And the river brought an off-suit king. And I checked and she bet really fast again, for about 35% of the pot or 40% of the pot, I don’t remember. Anyway, I ended up calling and she had QT.”